Saturday, April 16, 2016

The Ballad of Jesse and Robin, a song


Between Missouri and green Sherwood
there runs a lonesome way,
where Jesse James met Robin Hood
on one timeless day.

Said Jesse, “I see that we are brothers
though I rob trains and banks;
we take from some and give to others —
those others give us thanks.”

“Though brothers,” said Robin, “we may seem,
we differ in one thing —
your rebel cause was a traitorous scheme;
I served my rightful king.”

“But weren't you known,” asked the outlaw James,
“to take the king's own deer?
You and his sheriff played deadly games,
no man of his did you fear.”

“My merry men no arrows aimed
at crowned head,” Robin swore,
“for we loved Richard and can't be blamed
if we loved his venison more!”

“The railroad had become our king,”
said Jesse, “and my foe;
would I'd had the strength to bring
such a monarch low.

“The bankers and the railroad men
would force us from our land;
their Pinkertons burnt and slew our kin —
this no man should stand.”

“And so it is that you must need
to fight still your war;
but,” said Robin, “mankind’s greed
will ever grind the poor.

“We have no choice but to be bold,
though we may never avail,
and enjoy our enemies’ gold
and a cup of golden ale!”

“Yes, so it is and so it will be
and if all comes to naught,
at least,” said Jesse, “we lived free;
at least men know we fought.”

Between green Sherwood and Missouri,
where runs a lonely way,
Jesse James and Robin Hood
parted on that day.

Stephen Brooke ©2016

A song lyric I've occasionally worked at over the past few months. I think it is done now or as done as it ever will be. No, I don't have a tune and I'm not sure it is something I or anyone else would ever perform anyway. A straight-forward ballad in form. 

Addendum, later in the day: Okay, couldn't help myself. Wrote up a simple tune (in D Dorian mode) and have played it a few times.

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